I do not know if I heard it somewhere or made it up, but I truly believe you are only as exceptional as your network. A beneficial network will support you, cheer you on, buy what you are selling, give you advice, pass on referrals, and introduce you to the right people. Therefore, I make it a practice nurture my relationships and to continually build my network.
Over the years my networking skills have enhanced my life exponentially. Those times when I feel like I am a million miles away from where I want to be I reflect on what I have to be grateful for and one thing is my network.
In my offline life, I work as a traveling notary which surprises most people because no one grows up and says that they want to be a notary public, but thankfully I have made it work for over 10 years. One of the keys to my success has been networking. Connecting with colleagues has helped me get to the top of Google searches and in turn, make thousands of dollars I would not have earned otherwise. Also, thanks to my referral network I have worked assignments that have paid as much as $800 for one day's work.
In the blogging world, I have connected with great women through Facebook groups like Bloggers Like Me, an impressive group of influential, well-connected female entrepreneurs who inspire each other to excellence. Because of my connections in blogging, I have been able to attend awesome events, and I have been given the opportunity to speak on my first panel.
Find your preferred place to network
Network meetings are a great place to meet people, but networking can be painful if done incorrectly so it may take time to find the right group for you. Whether it's online or in person find what works. Meeup.com is an excellent place to find networking groups or you can even start your own. There are also always plenty of conferences, workshops, and seminars to meet potential business partners and clients.
People can spot fakeness from a mile away so while you do hope to gain something never let that be your sole objective. It's a better idea to see how you can help others first because as they say what goes around comes around.
Connect on social media
Social media makes it easy to keep in contact with people. Choose your favorite platform and connect with your contacts. My favorite way to connect is Facebook because I spend a majority of my time online there, so it makes it incredibly simple. Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are also useful for making and keeping connections.
Be a connector
If someone needs assistance be a resource that they can turn to for help. People respect individuals who are knowledgeable and who have something to give so never be afraid to share your knowledge. When you are known as a strong resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you visible to them.
Don't try too hard
Nothing turns people off like the smell of desperation. I've read that it may take up to 7 impressions before someone remembers you hence do not try to be a contact's best friend on first meeting them. Instead get their card and send them an email stating that it was nice meeting them and then be alert to the next opportunity you can connect. Believe me, your patience will pay off.
In this ever more competitive world often times who you know is more important than what you know therefore never forget to continually network, building those ever important relationships online and offline.
What's your best networking tip?